How To Make A Caregiving Decision

As a caregiver, there are so many decisions you're going to have to make, and some of those decisions can feel really heavy. They can feel really big. These are decisions like whether or not to put your loved one in a care facility, maybe put your loved one in respite, or even taking your loved one on vacation with you.

How do you make the right decision?

In today's video, I want to walk you through a simple three step process you can go through whenever you are faced with making any decision. And the best news possible is that no matter what the outcome is of that decision, you don't have to feel bad or guilty about it at all, and you never, ever again have to think to yourself, "I made the wrong decision."

Are you ready? Let's get started.


If you would rather watch a video on this topic, click here. 


One of the reasons people struggle with making a decision is because they have in their mind that there is a right decision or there is a wrong decision. And because that is a possibility in our minds, we are paralyzed or frozen from making a decision. We think what if it is the wrong decision?

Here's what I want to tell you right away. There is no wrong or right decision. Whatever decision you make, is the right decision. The reason people get tripped up and think there is a wrong or right decision is because they think that the outcome of their decision determines whether it was right or wrong.

For example, let's say you're deciding whether or not to take your loved one on vacation, and you decide to take your loved one. Then on this vacation, your loved one becomes disoriented. They become confused, they become agitated. Most people would take that and think, "Oh my gosh, I made the wrong decision".

But that's faulty. That's the faulty thinking, because you have no idea what would've happened if they stayed in respite or they stayed in somebody else's care, or you didn't take them. It could have been just as bad or even worse. So number one, we have to realize there is no wrong or right decision.

Whatever decision you make is the right decision. Because we can't predict the future and there's no way of knowing how things are going to play out. 

So overall, no wrong or right decision except the one you make is the right decision. So now that we are on the same playing field there, here is what to do after you've made a decision. So number one, you just make the decision.

Now, when you have decided what you're gonna do, just choose one. You can go through the exercise in your mind. You have to know your reason for making the decision. Why did you decide to do that? What's your reason? So for example, if you're deciding to take your loved one on vacation, let's say you decide to take them, well, what's your reason for doing so?

Maybe your reason is you want one last family picture by the beach while they're still alive. Maybe that's your reason. That's step one. Step two, do you like your reason? Check in. This is a gut check. Do you like that reason for taking your loved one on vacation? Do a gut check. I like that reason. That's a good reason.

Step three. This is the most important step. No matter what happens on that vacation, you remind yourself over and over what your reason was, and because you like that reason, it was a really good reason. So if this person goes on vacation with you and they become disoriented, agitated, confused, it's really stressful for you, you can remind yourself over and over, "I made this decision because I wanted one last family photo by the beach."

That's it. The reason why step two is important in terms of doing the gut check and asking yourself, Do I like that reason is because, let's say it was this. Let's say you decide to take your loved one on vacation, and your reason is because you're worried about what other people will think of you.

If you go on vacation alone without your loved one, you're worried people will judge. We have to do that in gut check in step two. Do you like your reason? Do you actually like your reason? If that person starts to get disoriented and upset and agitated, that's a hard situation to be in. And if the only reason, if the main reason I decided to take them was to make sure people weren't judging me, like that's not gonna get me through the hard time. The photo, the family photo on the beach that I know I get to frame, that's gonna get me through the hard time.

So it's truly the overarching message here. No matter what decision you make, you can decide it's the right decision. The only reason you would ever think it's not is because you're waiting to see what happens in the future, which is just insanity. We don't know what's going to happen, so just decide that is what you're going to do.

Ok so number one, what's your reason for making that decision? Number two, make sure you like that reason. Do the gut check. And number three, remind yourself of that reason over and over and over again, especially during the hard times. You can apply this to any decision you have to make in caregiving.

This could be the decision of putting your loved one in a care facility even. Okay, well, what's your reason? Maybe your reason is because they're having lots of falls and they need lots of hands on care, and you as one person is not able to provide them that.

Step two. Do you like that reason? Yeah, I like that reason. That feels good to me. 

Step three, When they call you and they say, "Why am I here? Take me home. I don't wanna be here" You remind yourself over and over, "I did this because they needed a 24 7 hands on care. They were not able to get up on their own. They were falling a lot. I was having a hard time picking them up."

That is my reason. And you do that over and over and over. But if my reason for putting them in a care facility was just because, you know, all of my family members and doctors told me I should, when I really didn't want to. Then when they're calling you and they're upset and they're having a hard time, you don't even have a solid foundation to stand on. This is really hard, but you should at least like the reason you made that decision. 

Instead, it's going to be, this is really hard and I really didn't even wanna do it anyway, or I didn't even feel good about the reason I did it. So those are the three steps. You can apply this to any caregiving situation.

Careblazer, I know that this is hard. Being a careblazer is hard. Somebody's life is literally in your hands.

There are so many obstacles and challenges that are going to come along this journey. Do not make your own brain be one of them. You can support yourself through this journey, or you can beat yourself up through this journey. I hope you'll choose to support yourself.

There is no way any of us can ever predict the future. There is no field manual out there that can say what is right or wrong for your loved one, and only you can decide and what is right for you. And what is right for somebody else may not be right for you.

And both of you can be right. Everybody can be right. You make the right decision so that no matter what happens, you support yourself. You can say to yourself, "I made the best decision. I knew how in that moment and I made it because this was my reason and I actually liked the reason".

The whole beating yourself up after you figured out what the outcome was, the whole beating yourself up after the results have come about, after you see how your loved one reacted, all of that is purely optional. It is not required. And hear me on this, I hope you're still here. If your person with dementia responds in a difficult way, a challenging way, uh, a way that is very clear, it means they had a hard time with your decision. It does not mean you made the wrong decision.

Do not say to yourself, "I should have made the other decision. I made the wrong decision and they reacted poorly." But how do you know that? That's the brain trick! Your brain will play on you. Your brain is telling you that was the better decision. But you don't know that because you didn't make it.

And if you made that decision, maybe it would've been even worse. Maybe your loved one would've had even a more difficult time. So don't let your brain play the tricks on you that make you feel awful because you have no way of predicting the future. And if you were to think to yourself, "I made the wrong decision.I should have made this decision", It's only because your brain is telling you things would've been. And when you're predicting the future like that, you're literally just making up a future. So you can make up whatever you want.

At any moment Careblazer, you can decide to make a new decision. At any moment, you can change your mind and you can change course, and you can, you decide to do something different. But the whole beating yourself up for a decision that has already been made, that is the part that is optional, That is the part that is not required.

Please do not do that to yourself.

Okay, I am sending all of you love! Have a great week Careblazers!


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